Los Angeles native Ashlee Gast always had a passion for all things beauty. Growing up, she was fascinated by hair styling and became a self-proclaimed beautician for her family and friends. Come time for college, Gast decided to attend nursing school in Long Beach. Three years later, she realized that she could no longer deny her true aspirations. She took the leap and left nursing school to study at Santa Monica School of Cosmetology. After becoming a licensed cosmetologist, Gast delved into her new career and found the true meaning of beauty. Now, she and her husband own Dino Clark Salon in Santa Monica, where they help others look and feel incredible.

“I have always been drawn to doing what makes others feel good,” Gast explained. While nursing provided an outlet for her to help others, there was still something missing. As a stylist, she found that spark. When she recognized stylists’ ability to empower others, it gave meaning and purpose to her work. She realized gorgeous hair could dramatically improve a woman’s daily life by boosting her self-confidence: “We are our own worst critics, and it’s so special to be able to make someone feel beautiful.”

One key reason why Gast is able to better the lives of others is the unique relationship between the stylist and the client. Gast believes that stylists and clients have a special bond, and it gives her the ability to connect with women in an unparalleled way. “We’ve all been there for each other through marriages, divorces, deaths, career changes, degrees, pregnancies, births, cancer and other illnesses…through life,” she confessed. In her eyes, this connection is the most rewarding aspect of her career a stylist.

Gast recognizes that this intimacy between stylist and client builds a high level of trust, and she values this responsibility tremendously. “It’s always blown me away how much my clients value my opinion,” she shared. Because of their unwavering confidence in her, Gast is committed to providing clients with honest and helpful information. Through her very own newsletter and content on her Instagram, she educates her community on the ins and out of modern beauty and wellness.

Ultimately, Gast is grateful for the opportunity to help her clients look and feel their best. “I’ve watched so many women walk away from the salon feeling lighter, more inspired, and with a greater overall sense of harmony,” Gast said, “That’s the biggest gift to be able to give others – the confidence boost they need inside to match their awesome hair.”

Photo By: Beth Doane